26 August 2011

German Tradition of 'Schultuete'

If you follow this blog, you know that my oldest one started Kindergarten earlier this week.

Well, when a German child enters school, we kind of make a real big deal out of it. Parents and even grandparents gather to see the child embarking on the journey of a decade (or much more) of school. The child is presented a big cardboard cone, decorated and filled with lots of treats from candy to more practical things like rulers and such, needed in school.

Oh yeah, American children are missing out!!!

Apparently, the German tradition of the Schultuete goes back to the 1817 to the Eastern town of Jena. It spread quickly - I wonder why? - and was adapted by big cities as well as small villages. In the early days, the cone was filled with treats like apples and oranges and small candy pieces. Now, the only thing that has changed over the years is that less and less sweet things are found in the cone, and more useful things are given to the kids.

So I knew I wanted Coqui to get one as well. It took me a while to find a place in America that sells those wonderful things. (Yes, I could have made one myself, but I wanted to buy the very first one for him.) I did find a place and ordered quickly, but it seemed forever for them to get here....

Finally, they arrived Wednesday and I could fill them. I say them, because I ordered two, one for Coqui and one for his best friend who also started school this Monday. So today we finally headed over to our very close friends' house, after school. We arrived shortly before they pulled into the driveway, and when the kids saw each other, I presented them their first Schultuete - to celebrate their growing up.

Happy First Day of School, Chickie and Coqui!

And here is a picture from my first day of school, back in 1981.